No. 24 Memphis dominates Rutgers 101-69
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Austin Nichols scored 18 points, and Joe Jackson added 16 points and eight assists as No. 24 Memphis jumped to an early lead before dominating Rutgers 101-69 on Tuesday night.
The Tigers (17-5, 7-3 American Athletic Conference) hit a season-high 12 3-pointers and shot 59 percent, also a best this season. Nichols was 8 of 9 from the field, and Jackson hit all but one of his seven shots.
Memphis, which won its seventh game in the last nine, never trailed in the game and led by as many as 41 points in the second half.
Michael Dixon scored 15 points, and Shaq Goodwin added 13 for Memphis. Geron Johnson and Chris Crawford scored 12 each for the Tigers, Crawford grabbing 11 rebounds.
Kadeem Jack was the only Scarlet Knight in double figures with 12 points as Rutgers (9-14, 3-7) lost its fifth in the last six.
Memphis controlled the paint outscoring Rutgers 44-28 and held a 32-12 advantage on points off turnovers. Rutgers committing 17 turnovers to 14 for Memphis.
Memphis outrebounded Rutgers 40-29.
With 9:51 left in the first half, Memphis held a 31-5 lead, had hit 12 of its 15 shots and was dominating every aspect of the game.
Rutgers hit one of its first nine shots and was 2 of 12 at one point.
By halftime, Memphis held a 56-21 lead. Nichols hit all seven of his shots en route to 16 points, while Jackson was 4 of 5 for 10 points.
The Tigers went into the break hitting 67 percent from the field and 8 of 11 from outside the arc.
Rutgers was limited to 25 percent shooting (6 of 24), and were 1 of 11 shots from 3-point range.
Rutgers went more than 8 minutes with just one field goal and that translated into a 27-2 run for Memphis, which eventually would lead by 35 points shortly before halftime.
The second half was pretty much a matter of playing out the final 20 minutes. Memphis continued to connect on 3-pointers, still hitting at a 71 percent clip - 12 of 17 - near the 8-minute mark.
Rutgers shot 53 percent in the second half to finish the game at 41 percent.
Crawford said the Tigers have determined that establishing the inside post play is the most effective strategy.
"That's the philosophy from here on out," he said. "That's what we are going to do. Inside out. Inside first. That's going to make the defense suck in on the post and open it up for the guards."